Our latest issue presents a selection of work that goes on show at Format festival in Derby, England, next month, emphasising the fair’s slant towards “crooked” documentary practices, where a lack of subject or search for the unknown is filled by fiction and interpretation.
Stefanie Moshammer, our cover photographer, constructs a story based around the fantasies and realities of love after she received an unsolicited letter from a would-be suitor offering her a new life. Virginie Rebetez also attempts to visualise the unknown, by rebuilding the life of Suzanne Lyall, a woman who disappeared on her way home in upstate New York in 1998. Similarly, Anne Golaz combines fact and fiction in a project where she revisits the farm on which she grew up.
In more investigative projects, Emily Graham’s The Blindest Man gets its public debut at Format this year. It follows a treasure hunt based on an illustrated book from 1993: the search for the golden owl. Somewhere in mainland France, the statue is buried; a mystery that still obsesses groups of treasure hunters today.
We feature another project that will be shown for the first time at the fair – Jack Latham’s Parliament of Owls. Latham travels deep into the Californian forest to investigate the Bohemian Club, an ultra-elite circle of the rich and powerful, who carry out their shady business under the gaze of a 40-foot owl. Jack Latham seeks out the secretive club and its protesters, questioning the role of conspiracy theories in the age of fake news.
In our Projects section, we feature four exhibiting artists – Ronghui Chen, Michele Palazzi, Liza Ambrossio and Nina Röder – all drawn from an open call. Our Creative Brief is Susan White, executive photography editor at Culture Trip, and this month we give our verdict on Leica’s M10-D and Hasselblad’s fastest-ever lens, the XCD 80mm f/1.9.
Elsewhere, we pick up on Martin Parr at the National Portrait Gallery, Simon Baker’s inaugural programme at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, and Dutch duo Scheltens & Abbenes at Foam Museum.